When Loki Wins,
When the World Burned,
When the Bells Rang.
Wherein Loki wins entirely and completely. Enjoy.
~5k, give or take. Thor/Loki
When Loki Wins,
"Send the rest."
The rest come.
Wide-eyed and outnumbered, the Avengers regroup with their Captain and prepare for battle. Malicious green eyes spot them impossibly amongst the crumbling buildings and explosions and rubble and Loki smiles at their folly.
How thoughtful of them, he thinks as he lifts his hands to weave a simple spell, to have gathered all in one place.
The spell is simple but powerful, and since the human's eyes are drawn heavenwards to their enemies they miss the soft glow around the soles of their feet.
Loki grins as they discover their peril, their feet will not move from the ground no matter how hard they pull. Even the enormous green monster cannot wrench his toes from the pavement.
Their panic is short-lived as his brother correctly guesses the cause of their curse and Loki hears his name bellowed with fury from the streets below.
The cry is lost among the greater bellowing of his army as they swarm from the hole in the sky.
The rest have come.
The Avengers stand helpless except to defend themselves alone while the city crumbles around them.
Loki takes no great pains to direct the army in any way but onward, forward, to crush everything in their power to ruin and leave nothing but destruction.
The army lives up to its reputation, New York is leveled within the hour.
A little missile screams toward them but Loki meets it with a spell and it plummets to the ocean hissing columns of thick green smoke.
More missiles come. They all fall hissing green into the ocean.
The Chitauri make short work of any aircrafts after that. They cry triumphant as Loki gives new orders. Surround the city, gather the women, eat the men, reduce whatever still stands to rubble. The army works tirelessly to this task.
Loki has not forgotten his spell. The Avengers stand rooted to the ground, not by choice, as Loki dismisses the spells of invisibility and protection he had woven over them as an afterthought. They are wrecked, all of them utterly wrecked, at having been made to watch and do nothing as the city fell.
Many of them yell. Loki lets them.
The city continues to scream as his army tears deeper into its corpse.
He gives them nothing, lets them waste their voices while he waits, because now he has all the time in the realms. Because Loki has them, and there is not a damn thing they can do about it. The thought causes a corner of his mouth to lift.
The Hawk looses the rest of his arrows before he realizes the illusion. The Widow throws her knives and Loki returns them. The Man of Iron has nothing left to throw and the Captain slides his shield onto his back, recognizing defeat. The great green monster bellows ferociously. Loki wonders briefly how he will kill that one, as most usual methods will not work.
And then there is his brother.
Thor's look is not unlike the others but it makes Loki's smile blossom full.
There is such sadness in his brother's eyes, such raw hurt and anger. Loki has impressed himself.
"Brother," Thor pleads, and just seeing the weight of the word as Thor says it is enough for Loki to know he has won.
He weaves another spell and their hands drop at their sides. They cry at this new curse and are left with only words as weapons as Loki comes closer.
He smiles broadly, scepter in one hand, as he approaches.
His eyes meet his brothers and he tilts the scepter into the Captain's chest.
The green monster roars, as does the Man of Iron. His brother cries out also but the Captain's eyes are emptied and refilled with electric blue. Loki laughs softly and the Captain gives him a curt nod.
Loki sets his scepter to the Hawk, and to the Widow, and presses the point of it to the Steel Man's temple after he tears away the mask of metal. Their eyes empty, hollow, and then they are rewritten.
The green thing cries endlessly. His brother has fallen silent.
The problem of the green monster is easily solved, once Loki gives it some thought. He does not care to face it again, not even as a weapon to unleash upon his enemies, lest they find a way to wrench his control of it and set it upon him a second time. It is easier to destroy it, and so spells the great thing to fly at the hole in the sky, hands still bound to its thick sides. Its cries are long and echo a moment after it is hurled to the other side.
He isn't kept waiting long before confirmation of its asphyxiation.
Thor's face is wet with tears when Loki turns to its stormy countenance. He's half curious why the skies haven't filled with, oh, wait, there they are; thick billowing columns of grey and blue. The winds around them make it hard to hear.
The admission is wretched. Loki's smile is broad. "Oh, Thor."
"What have you done?"
"I have done what I was born to do," the god of Chaos said.
Thor hung his head. Thunder rolled nearby.
"Will you enchant me, too, brother?" he asked. "As you have enchanted the others?"
Thor's words were thick with defeat.
The Trickster wondered if his brother's eyes shone with it.
Loki lifted his chin with a slender hand, palming the rough stubble of his brother's beard.
"I would sooner strike a bargain with you," Loki offered, and something in Thor's eyes became even more wary. The Trickster only smiled into the taller man's inquiring gaze.
"Will you not ask me what the bargain is?"
"What could I offer you that is not already yours to take?" Thor bit out, the muscles of his neck thick with anger.
Loki's smile widened.
"But that's where the fun lies," he hissed, "And all the sweeter your surrender should seem to me, Thor, if it were by your own violation than forced by any spell."
His brother shuddered in his grip and Thor cast his gaze to the ground.
Loki jerked his chin sharply and forced their gazes to meet.
"There is a price which might buy your precious mortal's freedom from my spells," Loki murmured, savoring the spark of hope in his brother's eyes at the suggestion.
"Would you not ask it of me?"
"What price is this?" Thor asked brokenly, "I would give you whatever is within my power to grant, brother, to this end."
Something in Loki hissed at this answer. The words weren't quite right, but Thor's strong suit was never in speaking, and Loki understood well enough that he would have what he wanted.
"You are my price."
Thor's mouth twisted.
"I don't understand," he began, and Loki stepped away, letting his hand fall from Thor's face.
"Then let me explain," the demi-god said slowly, careful to be clear against the wind and the rumble of thunder still rolling in the distance. "In exchange to loose your friends, I require you, in all the ways you might be mine."
Green eyes trailed along his brother's thick arms and broad chest as he named Thor's strengths. "Your hammer, your lightning, your wit, what little there is."
Loki touched the armor of Thor's chest.
"I would have your strength. Your heart," he said slowly, "and all your love."
Thor's throat tightened, not out of anger.
"But brother," he choked, "These things are already yours."
Loki's laughter was so soft it was lost entirely to the wind.
"Then why am I certain of this; if I release you now, you would swing Mjölnir, and I would be it's mark? If I had, as you claim, all these things which I desire I would not fear your hammer, Thor. I would never have spelled you still, yet there you stand, unable even to shift the soles of your feet in your boots."
His brother's brow furrowed. The storm had gathered and was restlessly assaulting New York along with the Chitauri.
It was interesting to hear the pattern of thunder dim as Thor struggled with his brother's words.
"You would have me," Thor works out, and when his eyes go wide Loki knows Thor has come to the correct conclusion.
Loki is proud of his brother for working it out on his own.
"In all the ways you might give yourself to me," Loki agreed.
The thunder-god, hammer still at his side, looked upon his brother with an unreadable gaze.
Above them, the sky filled with jagged forks. Around them, the city exploded, cracked, falling endlessly to ruin.
"Please, do take your time," Loki bid Thor happily, "I know it pains you to actually use your wit, so be slow about it. It would grieve me, brother, to see you in misery not wrought of my own direction." Emerald eyes glinted as Loki offered Thor a sliver of a smile. "It's not as though making a quick decision will win you back the city."
His brother perceived the truth in Loki's words, that the city was won and could not be won back, not by any feat of him or his team. Whatever happens, New York is lost.
Thor struggled with himself a moment and then met his brother's eyes.
"You will free their minds if I agree?"
"Not only their minds," Loki reminded his brother magnanimously. He could have kept them bound and argued his brother did not request their bodies also be set free.
He could have, but Loki undoes the spell keeping Thor's hands bound and the first thing the demi-god does is to take Mjölnir from his side and place it on its side at his feet.
Loki does not expect the Avengers to be much of a problem for him in future but he cannot resist the temptation to strike deep into their minds just how much they have lost.
As his brother drops to one knee before him, Loki looses his hold of their minds.
The team of mortals return to themselves as Thor places one hand on the ground before Loki and dips his head low.
Loki nearly comes in his trousers at the looks on their faces.
They retreat to a ruined building when they get over their shock and realize they are no longer cursed. They make calls to Thor but the thunder-god only picks up Mjölnir and loops it deftly into his belt.
The Avengers are not stupid. They stop calling and disappear.
New York groans and catches fire.
When the World Burned,
The rest of the world is trivial to conquer after Manhattan. Loki sends his army everywhere. They strike without warning and punish without purpose. The hole in the sky rips open and hundreds pour forth. Earth's machines put up a valiant (futile) effort against the invading force. Loki would praise them for their resistance if it had been even a little difficult to bring them down.
The way their hope dies when their metal fails them leaves Loki wondering how his brother, who found glory in honor and valour and strength of heart, could have ever come to admire these creatures. Without their metal they scatter without order, flail pathetically, and die in droves. Loki finds passing amusement in ordering the Chitauri to kill every human who runs but to make prisoners those who stand to fight back.
Weeks pass and not one prisoner is brought before him.
His brother never leaves his side. A part of Loki doubts that Thor will not honor his word, and then Loki asks Thor to subdue a small resistance effort gathering in Los Angeles, and south California is razed.
Loki stops doubting.
There is more resistance here and there. Most of it human and therefore completely futile. Some of it extra-ordinary, and requiring Loki's and sometimes Thor's personal touches to completely eradicate them.
Sometimes Loki likes to let them win a battle or two, likes to hear the cheers and see the ants thrum with hope.
Sometimes Loki likes when the army gathers the strongest humans and he lets them fight each other for survival while the Chitauri cry encouragement and place bets, and when the last human, hands staunched red with the blood of his own kind, stands alone in the ring amidst piles of bodies Loki will clap his hands and congratulate him for his monstrosities and then reward his ruined heart by sliding a dagger up into it.
Sometimes Loki walks into a crowd and finds no need to spill blood. It is tiresome to slit the throats of those beneath him. He would much rather end those who rear up to stand at his height. When Loki walks into a town or a village to find every head bowed he calls his army back and lets his daggers sleep in their sheaths.
Loki has killed many. He spares the few humans that drop to their knees and ruins the rest.
Midgard has many lands. It is not the biggest planet Loki has walked, nor is it the smallest, but its population is by far the most diverse and therefore interesting.
The fire-god, chaos-god, walks them all, and everything in his path kneels or burns.
An envoy comes for the cube.
Loki makes his terms plain. The envoy makes his own terms heard.
The envoy leaves three days later with the cube but without an eye and three ribs.
The same envoy returns to Midgard a week later, and through what snarling Loki can decipher, his terms have been accepted and will be honored.
This time the envoy leaves his left arm behind. He does not return for it.
Thor stands besides his brother when Loki proclaims himself king of Midgard. The humans he has spared dip their heads in unison. His smile is glass as he stands before them all.
They are finally free of their freedom.
They have no choice in this, their future, but to yield utterly. The cheer which erupts as Loki raises his arm as King of Midgard is deafening, and yet more so than the roar of this crowd does Loki hear the soundless void beside him. His brother has said little since he fell to one knee before him but now Loki would have his brother's voice in his ears again. His victory will not be complete without Thor.
"Tell me, brother," Loki asks as he turns his crown in two hands, slender pale fingers sliding against cold silver and gold woven into a delicate circlet, "do you think I am happy?"
The thunder-god's brow knitted. "You have all that you desire, brother," Thor begins, and Loki smiles as he smells the familiar beginnings of a storm churning, "You are crowned king. You fear no enemy here. Is there yet more that your heart yearns for? What thirst have you not yet quenched?"
"I have been very patient," Loki admits, as if to himself, as he slides the crown from his fingers to his temple.
"You have the Earth," Thor says.
"You have your crown."
"And that as well."
Thor thinks. Loki smiles at how the action brings more muted rumbling.
"Have you forgotten what I asked of you, Thor?" he asked as he slid onto his bed.
At this Thor's expression turns to confusion.
"But you have had me," Thor protests, and it is true. Loki has had his brother in all the ways the body might contrive to be with another body, and Thor has had him in turn. Much of their copulating has caused the Earth to tremble, to be wrought in pieces by lightning and quakes, and flooded by the rain of storms unleashed and never reigned in.
"Yes, I have had you," Loki nods and speaks slowly, as if to some particularly thick child the simplest of things, "But that is it exactly. Even after all this, I do not have you. I have only had you."
Thor's confusion at this is such that Loki's eyes nearly roll right out of his head and onto the floor in exasperation.
Loki does not expect Thor to find his own answer, as he did a year and eighty days ago, and the smile that breaks the confusion of the thunder-god's face is a true surprise for the mischief-god, almost as much as the words his brother finds to say in the pause after Loki's.
"Not haunted by mortality, we have eons yet to spend together, Loki. And I would spend them all with you trying to show you how deep my love runs. How I am yours."
Thor kneels in the space between Loki's legs.
"Every bit of me belongs to you, Loki."
Loki's hands curl on Thor's broad shoulders as he stares into his golden brother's bright blue eyes.
"You have me."
"You lie," Loki murmurs, but the light in Thor's eyes is not deceit, and the words feel tired, used. Wrong.
"You have me, brother," Thor says. There is such naked ernest love in his eyes that Loki has to look away, so bright is the gleam of it. "You have me. And I will spend the rest of my days showing you, because you forget within a day that I have not yet left your side; telling you, since you seem not to hear it when I tell you plain; proving to you that the only lie left is in your heart, that you will not let yourself believe that you finally have all the things which you desire. I will do all these things and more, brother, until you can see the answer to your own question."
Thor's smile put the sun to shame for its radiance. "It is alright to be happy."
Loki's protests are few following this admission, so thick with feeling and love as only Thor can make it, and they spend three weeks without food or drink wrapped in the fine silks of Loki's bed, and in each other.
When the Bells Rang,
When Earth reveres them, actually loves them and writes them song and poem, actually welcomes their guidance and law, though it is years in coming, long after the hope of rebellion has faded into the smallest corners, and the security of their reign is unquestioned, an envoy from Asgard descends.
They are bid to return at once to Odin's chambers, to account for grave misdeeds. He reads a long list of grievances they are to answer for.
Thor tears the envoy's tongue from his mouth.
Loki catches his brother's arm as the Bifrost sweeps the envoy's corpse home.
The death of a messenger is blasphemy in every Realm, grounds of treason and a clear rejection of the message sent, and can be interpreted as an invitation of open hostility. Thor has just provoked the All-Father.
In the glistening left by the Bifrost's retreat, Loki catches his brother's ear and whispers, "I think I am happy now."
Thor's smile lights the darkness they are left in.
They have each other without pause and tear Australia in three pieces before the next envoy comes.
This one speaks as well as the first. Loki changes all his clothes to serpents and again the Bifrost sweeps the corpse away.
Thor laughs heartily and calls Loki 'clever conjurer'. Loki is glad all the envoys come at night for it is harder to see his flush by the pale light of the moon.
They are running out of continents to ruin when Sif and the Warriors Three are sent to negotiate.
Whatever the Asgard warriors expected to find, it was certainly not Loki on his back spread across a table top with his golden brother pressing his face into a milky thigh while his hips snapped into Loki's. Sif threw open the doors to their chambers and promptly spun 'round the opposite way. The others barged in after and floundered at the sight before them before retreating.
Loki spells the door shut behind them and Thor bellows he will meet with them once they are decent.
The warriors have two full meals in waiting and twilight falls before they see the demi-gods again.
They throw about words throughout the night. There are demands made, long-forgotten promises called upon, some made so long ago that Loki is impressed when Thor can remember them all to their exact year. There are angry words, and more than once does thunder roll threatening in the sky. Loki has to use his magic twice that night. Thor calls Mjölnir to his hand but never swings it. They agree and disagree and agree again in the span of an hour. There are insults and praise and much interesting name-calling. Loki has almost forgotten his love of sparring with words. Thor's eyes are bright for Loki's delight in the banter the late hours of that night bring. Their debate is not one-sided and has many tangents.
In the end, the night can hardly be called disastrous at best, so far as courtesies can be counted, which is why the warriors are utterly bewildered when Loki informs them they are welcome on Midgard whenever they please and even entreats they return within the week. Thor sees them off with a hearty laugh as the Bifrost sweeps them into a clear blue Midgardian morning.
"I will miss them while they're gone," Loki admits as he and Thor retire for a meal, "The Lady Sif's tongue is sharp as her blade ever was."
"I will be glad when they come again," Thor agrees and they take a week telling tales of adventures past.
Aside from their otherworldly agendas and between the ground-splitting sex they share, Loki and Thor do not neglect Midgard. The Chitauri linger here and there but are mostly scattered back to space. Loki has little use for an army of dragons to quash the rebellion of ants, and mostly keep them about to remind the humans that questioning his reign really isn't the best idea.
The population is slowly beginning to replenish itself.
Cities rebuild and the grass that sprawls over the face of Midgard is the greenest its been in ages. The air is fresher with less metal, Loki finds, and invites all the seasons to each land equally. The middle of Midgard is amazed at snow, while the poles are curious at the bright summer sun.
The world fills with wonder at the demi-god's whims and they watch its inhabitants grow in ways they might never have left to their own destructive devices.
The Warriors Three and the Lady Sif return to Midgard often, bearing tidings from Odin All-Father, but more often than not this is a ruse to eat at Thor's table and trade sharp words with the Liesmith. The pair make a marvelous occasion of their visits and so do the humans in turn. Once or twice someone says something to truly offend, usually when their tongues are slick with mead or liquor, but everything is forgiven with the rise of the next morning's sun and the four Asgardians never leave the little blue-green planet on poor terms with the two ruling demi-gods.
The peace spans for a decade before Heimdall himself descends from the Bifrost himself to call the two demi-gods to Odin's house.
They leave the warriors and Lady Sif to watch Midgard in their absence.
The All-Father's hall is golden and tall, glorious as ever it was in the days of their youth. Thor bids Loki feel no fear before Odin and reminds him of his promise.
"You have me," Thor says warmly as he embraces his brother outside the great doors of the hall.
"I have you," Loki murmurs into the thick of Thor's furs, "and I am beginning to believe it."
They wear their full armor into the hall with helms tucked under one arm. They must make a striking picture; the mischief-god walking stride in stride with the thunder-god, dressed every inch the Princes they are, in regal combat armor glistening hardened steel and shining silver, and there is a murmur in the hall when Loki's crown is spotted. Odin's staff taps the ground once from the throne and the murmur dies. He is still otherwise until his sons stand before him at the base of the throne's stair. The hall is without sound but for the rustle of Odin's furs as he stands. His single eye casts first to Thor and the greeting is simple and familiar.
He calls Thor son, and Thor calls him father.
Then Odin looks upon his other son.
"You left, a Prince," Odin observes, "and you have returned, a King."
"I have," Loki says, but leaves out father.
Odin's nod is slow in coming, and Loki can nearly hear the magic sing in his veins as he prepares for whatever attack may come with the All-Father's next breath. Thor's fingers thread into his brother's and Loki does not pull away. The warm press of his brother's palm against his gives Loki strength to ignore the wave of whispering and settles the dance of magic under his skin.
"I received no invitation to the coronation."
Loki is not certain he has heard correctly. He and Thor share a look but say nothing, sensing the All-Father has yet to finish.
"I am wounded by this offense," Odin rumbles.
"I do not offend by my coronation as King of a stolen planet," Loki asks, disbelief plain in his silver tones, "but in the failure to include Odin All-Father in the guest list?"
The greater god gestures.
"Heimdall has seen Midgard under your Kingship. His Eyes do not miss its growth, nor do they miss the means by which you took your crown. But no Midgard blood spills now except those who still defy the word of Loki. This is a vast improvement on the previous course of the planet's inhabitants. It is surprising to all who hear and yet none say the work done by this son of Odin is worthy of anything less than praise and worship."
His gaze upon Loki softens as it drops to where Thor's fingers are looped into his brother's.
Then, impossibly, "The wound would be repaired, if my son does not forget to invite his Father when the two of you are joined."
Loki suddenly finds he cannot breathe.
When they leave the hall Loki is still a King and Thor still his brother and they both go back to Midgard but only long enough to exchange Lady Sif and the Warriors Three for different temporary rulers, as the four are requested to be present at the wedding.
The coronation is made an affair unlike any before. It sees two kings crowned, one of Midgard, one of Asgard, and then sees them wed.
The poets and ballad-writers cry for days with all there is to record, for the splendor of the event is beyond the capacity of any to do proper justice in retelling. Everything is glorious beyond description, every imagining and fantasy. New words are created to capture the essence of the event. Its fame spread to every corner of the Realms. The wedding-coronation was made into a week-long holiday on Midgard and a month-long holiday on Asgard. The ceremony itself is in two parts, one where the princes kneel, and another where they join hands before their father, and lasts four days and five nights.
It is weeks later, in the middle of their honeymoon, when Loki realizes that it is not a dream.
His brother-husband comes to his side at once. Loki can feel the tears falling but is powerless to stop them.
"They come unbidden," Loki protests softly when his husband demands to know what grieves his brother so, "There is nothing more in the whole of the universe which I long for which his not already mine."
The tears continue through the night and through mid-morning of the next day.
Finally, Thor feels his brother's eyes dry, and it is only then that he allows the Trickster to slip from the fold of his arms.
"Loki," the thunderer answers, "Brother. Does something yet vex you?"
Loki stares at the sun in the sky with eyes still wet.
"I am not aggrieved," he murmurs, "And this is what troubles Loki."
He stands on the high balcony of his palace, on the precipice of all the things he has had want for, and finds himself without pain or remorse. Without a harrowing weight clinging numb to his shoulders. Without fury and regret, without even the will to cast about to discover a new desire for which to long. Without expectation or fear, save the fear of being exactly where he currently stands. He has everything he has ever desired. Loki has everything. The victory, though long in coming, is so complete that Loki can hardly recognize it.
Thor crosses the distance Loki has put between them and looks to the clouds where his brother casts his gaze.
"Do you think it will last?"
There is terror and wonder in Loki's question.
Thor's hand is warm on his brother's shoulder.
"As long as we can endure it," he promises, kissing the tear-streaked hollow of Loki's cheek, "my King."
Loki feels tears fall again but this time they fall over his smile and Thor does not try to wipe them away.